Another school shooting. Highlands Ranch, Colorado. In the USA, a school shooting occurs every 12 days. Everytown reports there have been at least 41 incidents of gunfire at schools in 2019.
PSALM 23 provides balance for this day. “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff – they comfort me.” (vs. 4) O, the parents and friends grief! O, the fear of students and teachers near and far! The grace of God provides salve for the wounds. God’s grace also also goads. “[God] leads me in right paths.” (vs. 3) Imagine morally right ways and paths of righteousness. God’s grace comforts and goads.
God goads us for the good. What is the good? A major good is legislative action. Rightly focused laws save lives. Protect Minnesota, Everytown and The Trace all report that states with the strongest gun laws have the lowest rate of gun violence. Internationally, Western Developed Nations with the strongest gun laws have gun violence rates considerably lower than the USA.
The Minnesota State Senate is debating two gun laws: Comprehensive Criminal Background Checks and Red Flag Law. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey is promoting a national gun violence prevention law, saying “We will make it harder for people who should not have a gun to get one.” Senator Booker notes that gun licenses in Massachusetts and Connecticut have significantly reduced gun violence. He proposes:
1. Buyers will have to seek a licence at a local office which needs
to be renewed every five years.
2. Sit for an interview
3. Get fingerprinted
4. Pass a background check
5. Proven they have passed a gun safety course
6. Close private sale loophole in background check system
7. Increase funding for the ATF for enforcement
8. Limit gun purchases to one weapon a month
9. Investigate the NRA to see if they have violated tax exempt
I would add: Must purchase liability insurance which will enhance gun owner accountability. Military style assault weapons would be banned.
The truth? Strong gun laws respecting the right of responsible persons to purchase SAVE LIVES. Rightly focused laws are “right paths, morally right and righteous ways.”
Let us not be seduced by comfort alone. We are comforted to rise up! Let’s get it done.
Rev. Dr. Ron Letnes